Business Musings

Change is good–right? I have been toying with the idea of relocating for sometime–maybe somewhere a little warmer perhaps. My career often takes me around the country and I’ve seen some of the most beautiful cities and landscapes the USA has to offer. I’m not one to be satisfied with standing still and really feel compelled to make a change–a BIG change!

It can be scary to take what you’ve built and leave it for the unknown. At the same time, it’s exhilarating too. I recently had a conversation with a photographer I greatly admire . He talked about how he took the plunge and relocated with no regrets. He said it was the best thing he could have ever done for himself and for his career. He said “you will work twice as hard to justify your decision and before long you will be miles ahead of where you were.” It’s that plunge that revives and stimulates you in a way.

Maybe I am speaking more for myself, but we can become sedentary in our own lives–life becomes routine. We forget how to explore and challenge ourselves–bored with our own perceived limitations. As children, we took chances because we had no fear. We hadn’t learned yet how to question our decisions or to fear failure.

Whether its relocating or just finding new opportunities–take the plunge and get out of your comfort zone. Light a fire under yourself. Reevaluate your work, what your goals are and make new ones. Make new connections and take advantage of the ones your have already made. Create opportunity. Push yourself out of your comfort zone–I guarantee you will feel that same excitement as you did early on in your career.

As artists, challenges only improve our craft–Right?!

My love and passion for photography has allowed me to meet and experience dynamic and creative people from all walks of life. Two such talents, Andy Strachwsky of UnknownPhotographer.net and Susan Roderick have joined forces to bring a wonderful new series UnknownPhotographer to BlackRapidsTV.
 
They travel the globe in search of “unknown” photographers that share their tips and techniques along with their inspiring and extraordinary stories. This project is well worth supporting and I hope you enjoy as they set out on an awesome adventure.
 
Check out Episode 1 linked below.  Episodes 1-4 are now available at BlackRapidsTV.

Unknown Photographer Ep.1: The Flat Tire Incident from BlackRapidTV.com on Vimeo.


 
I see so many young photographers today rushing–rushing to be the next great Nick Vedros, Michel Tcherevkoff or Helmut Newton to name a few of my personal favorites. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming and knowing what you want out of life, but enjoying the journey–that’s half the fun. Its the journey that we develop and grow and become more than we ever expected or in ways we never dreamed possible.
 
I have set goals over the years,  of course refining or changing it up as I go and yes–occasionally veering off course.  I’ve had plenty of missteps but thankfully–more incredible opportunities than not.  I took chances when in hindsight I maybe shouldn’t have.   Other times, my refusal to take a chance resulted in a missed opportunity or two.  Isn’t that life?  There isn’t a manual with easy to follow instructions–we just learn as we go.  I guess you could say–we develop as we grow.
 
So much of who we are is based on what we absorb and take in from the world around us. As an artist, we take liberties and push boundaries in search of our art.  Its during this process that we can learn a lot about who we are.
 
My advice, take in all you can from those around you.  Learn from the people you admire.  I have been so fortunate to have met such incredible people along my journey that have inspired me throughout my entire career.  I hope I never lose that sense of admiration or expectation.  I hope that I continue to be inspired by what surrounds me.   Inspiration doesn’t exist in a bubble, it can be found anywhere or in anyone.
 
Remember to relax a little from time to time and just–breath.  Life is short, so don’t rush it.  Above all, enjoy the journey–its yours after all!

I received a call several weeks back from Award Winning Director and Screenwriter Gorman Bechard asking me to be in his new film Broken Side of Time.


BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, starring Lynn Mancinelli, is the first film set in the world of internet modeling. A dark road trip of slow redemption, the film takes a look at a woman who realizes her lifestyle is a death sentence. “She decides to give it all up, and go home,” the director explains, “but not before one last taste of the vices which are killing her.

 

We had a great time working with Gorman and Lynn and look forward to seeing the film out sometime next year. Check out behind the scenes photos on the set while filming my photo shoot with actress Lynn Mancinelli which will be part of Bechard’s film.

When the release date is available I will post it here and on my Facebook.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Actress Lynn Mancinelli and Makeup artist Rhonda Danielle


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My recent adventures at PhotoShop World have lead me to some places that I wasn’t quite expecting or planning. I won the PhotoShop World Guru Award for Best of Show. I would have been ecstatic to have won the category I entered the image in but to get BoS was beyond fantastic. Let me explain a bit, I’ve coveted this award–I’ll ask for absolution of that sin later–for a long, long time. PhotoShop has been a big part of my career (aka “life”, in photographers terms) for well over a decade. Getting an award like this in front of and by, the most respected names in the industry is BIG.
 
I’m not sure if it was the award or simply the fact that I was walking around with a smile on my face all week that allowed me the opportunity to meet so many great people. Beyond meeting new people, I also met some individuals that in the Span of 4 days became great friends that I am sure will last a lifetime.
 
So what does all of this mean? Well, some great business opportunities were presented to me that I never planned for. The Award, well that speaks for itself. But personally and emotionally I feel a great sense of fulfillment.
 
I have to thank a few people, first, Scott Kelby and his incredible team for giving all of us a great tool for learning. If you’re not part of NAPP, DO IT NOW! F.J. Westcott for their support throughout the years. And most importantly, my wife Sandy and my kids Britney and Cameron for they’re love and patience during all the nights I spend with my laptop glowing on my lap.
 
Planning is a wonderful quality, but it seems that you can only plan so much and then luck and fortune take control. On the other hand, it could simply be that hard work pays off or maybe its simply a little of both.